Preview: Torino vs. Lazio

Preview: Torino vs. Lazio

Having both won on the opening day, Torino and Lazio aim to prolong their bright start to the Serie A season when they meet on Saturday evening.

The visitors arrive in Turin following an impressive fightback in their first fixture of the 2022-23 campaign, while their hosts saw off newly-promoted Monza.

Within minutes of the first whistle in their Serie A opener, Lazio found their backs against the wall, as they were reduced to 10 men following Luis Maximiano’s reckless dismissal on his debut.

The recently-arrived goalkeeper was sent off after six minutes against Bologna, and Maurizio Sarri’s side then went on to concede the opening goal just before the break.

However, not for the first time under their idiosyncratic manager, Lazio turned things around from a losing position, and Ciro Immobile’s 79th-minute winner sparked scenes of jubilation inside Stadio Olimpico.

That represented the fifth time since Sarri joined the club last summer they have effectively turned no points into three – only last term’s runners-up Inter have managed more in the same period.

The Biancocelesti finished fifth last season, having radically overhauled their style, and are now targeting the top four, with inspirational captain Immobile and midfield fulcrum Sergej Milinkovic-Savic remaining in Rome to aid their cause.

Before they go head to head with likely top-four rivals Inter next Friday, Lazio will this week take on a side they have drawn with in each of their last three league meetings – but they remain unbeaten against Torino in over three years.

Since Torino last got the better of Saturday’s visitors, back in May 2019, they have failed to beat them six times in a row; burning through five different managers in the process.

There have been plenty of turbulent times at Turin’s second club during that spell, but under Ivan Juric’s guidance Il Toro have charted a path back to Serie A’s top 10.

After finishing 16th and 17th in successive seasons, Torino earned a place in the top half of the final standings last term, but star striker Andrea Belotti is currently seeking a new employer, while defensive rock Bremer has already departed for city rivals Juventus.

Nonetheless, a new recruit and Belotti’s back-up both came to the fore in the Granata’s opening league game last weekend, as Aleksei Miranchuk and Antonio Sanabria scored in a 2-1 win over ambitious Monza.

That followed a 3-0 victory in the Coppa Italia against Palermo a week earlier, so although Torino have won just one of their last eight home matches against Lazio, they may feel confident of faring better this time around.

Torino Serie A form:
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Torino form (all competitions):
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Lazio Serie A form:
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Lazio form (all competitions):
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We say: Torino 1-2 Lazio
Not only have Lazio recruited well this summer, their squad continue to adapt to the ‘Sarri-ball’ style and demonstrate resilience when needed – such as last week. Therefore, they can continue a winning start, despite being faced by one of the tougher customers in the middle ranks of Serie A.

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